Friday, April 5, 2013

Creativity Studio & the Element of Surprise

Over the past several months I have been reminded of the pleasure of surprise in the process of making art. This past week in the Creativity Studio we introduced visitors to the silkscreen process. We provided simple screens, foam brushes and washable paint. Having made the screens using silk organza glued to inexpensive wood picture frames, we added mod podge (a gel medium) to create simple images. Children could choose which screen they wanted to print and then apply paint to the screen using foam brushes. Our youngest visitors surprised me by being much more interested in the tactile quality of the foam brush than in reproducing the image on the screen. They bent and watched the paint ooze from the brush, used the tip and side and sometimes the handle to make a variety of marks.

Pastel-La, Collaborative Art at DCM

This past winter we introduced papier mache to visitors and built a large- scale sculpture. Our exhibits staff selected odds and ends from the workshop and put together an armature on which we could build.  Over two weeks and with the participation of over a thousand visitors, we created a work of art—not one that we would have expected. Rather our organic art making process and hundreds of artists continuously making decisions about form, color and texture resulted in a surprise.

This is a common occurrence in the Studio. As educators we have specific themes and concepts we are introducing, and our students/visitors take us on an unexpected journey and teach us new ways that the materials can be used. The Art Studio at DCM offers facilitated drop-in programs every day. The themes of these programs, materials used and concepts change weekly. Join us!

This article is brought to you by Rachel Davis, a Program Developer in the Creativity Studio at DCM. Rachel holds a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking and worked for many years facilitating, developing and designing exhibits and programs at Madison Children's Museum in Wisconsin.

No comments:

Post a Comment